India's nominee, Justice Dalveer Bhandari, a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, has been elected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the first time an Indian has managed to get this key international post in over two decades.
Bhandari secured 122 votes in the United Nations General Assembly against 58 for his Filipino rival, Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of the external affairs, said.
In simultaneous elections Friday at the UN headquarters in New York, Bhandari also secured an absolute majority in the Security Council.
In the election to the ICJ, a primary judicial organ of the United Nations, commonly referred to as the World Court, Bhandari was locked in a fierce contest with Justice Florentino P Feliciano of the Philippines.
Bhadari takes the place of Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh of Jordan who resigned from the Asia-Pacific region seat at the end of 2011.
An eminent legal luminary, Bhandari will serve the remainder of the term 2012-18. India was last represented at the ICJ more than two decades ago.
The 64-year-old Justice Bhandari has variegated experience in international law and is well-versed with the working of the UN. Bhandari has been on India's apex court since 2005 and has served in the higher Indian judiciary for over two decades. He will retire in September this year. He served as the chairperson of the Delhi Centre of the International Law Association for several years.
Bhandari is also a member of leading international academic and legal bodies and is closely associated with a large number of committees dealing with various aspects of international law such as: human rights, biotechnology, sustainable development, securities regulation, trade, nuclear weapons, non-proliferation and contemporary international law and space.
Acknowledging his outstanding contribution, the Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, US while celebrating its 150 Years (1859-2009) selected Bhandari as one of its 16 most illustrious and distinguished alumni.
In New Delhi, the Supreme Court on Thursday had refused to quash Bhandari's nomination as a judge for the ICJ.
A bench of justices Altamas Kabir, J Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi initially wanted to outrightly dismiss the plea for quashing Justice Bhandari's nomination for the ICJ, but later allowed counsel Prashant Bhushan to withdraw it, treating it as "dismissed as withdrawn."
Established in June 1945 by the charter of the United Nations, in The Hague, Netherlands, ICJ's role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorised United Nations organs and specialised agencies.